Paris Opera Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty

The first time I went to Paris in 2018, I went to the Palais Garnier because of course I did.  While there, I stumbled upon a couple costumes that had been set up as part of a display that wasn’t yet finished.  Oops.  Turned out no one was supposed to go there yet….  Oh, well.  Too late.

Héloïse Bourdon and Christophe Duquenne as the princess and prince. Photo by Tal Gomita

In this post, I’ll share some photos of the princess’s costume.  Disney named her Aurora.  So the princess wasn’t originally called that.  She was just la belle au bois dormant, and she came to us from France.  However, she is just plain known as Aurora now, or Aurore-with-an-E in French.

This tutu was made for and worn by Héloïse Bourdon.  The suit worn by Christophe Duquenne as le Prince Désiré will be next, and rather than have the pressure of a regular post schedule, since some posts can take significantly more time, I will be dedicating an hour a day to sifting through thousands of photos and working on posts.  I may also break some posts into multiple parts to prevent so many days from passing between posts.

Now, Rudolf Nureyev’s choreography for this production includes what is widely considered to be the most difficult variation for women in ballet…the famous Rose Adagio.  It is a beautiful piece.  In it, Aurora has returned to the castle and is meeting potential suitors.  I’m sharing Marianela Nuñez’s performance.  No, she’s not with the POB, but the is the clearest video, and she’s also my favorite Manon.  Balletomanes will know what I’m talking about.

I’ll share a video from the POB at the end.  And if anyone is interested, I can go over Manon in a later post.  That story is the archetype of so, so many romances and character types and its influence continues to this day, despite very few people knowing about it anymore, even those whose inspiration comes from it.  By the way, it was original a novel.  Surprising to me how many fans of the ballet and opera don’t know about that.

Anyway.  All photos open to much larger photos when clicked, and there will be minimal commentary.


I used to have that embroidered fabric!!

Beneath the six sets of grommets are four sets of hooks and eyes to close the bodice. They’re difficult to see here, but if you open this pic larger, you can just see them.
Elastic at the top of the shoulders. While the overlay in the front goes over the seams, the overlay for the back four panels is cut with the decorative fabric beneath it.

From the side seam, there are three panels on each side of the front, plus the center panel, beneath the overlay. There are a total of 15 panels on this bodice.

Lots of layers of tutu tulle.  I think I counted 15, but I can’t recall for certain at this point.


And, as promised, here is POB’s Aurelie Dupont as Aurora in the Rose Adagio.

When I was five, my auntie Sandra game me a book for Christmas, of Tasha Tudor’s illustrated fairy tales. I always thought this was one of the most beautiful illustrations.  This book is no longer in print, though I wish it was.  It’s gorgeous.

Photo thanks to Julia’s Bookbag blog


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